Chilling your food.
March 23, 2004 3:58 PM   Subscribe

Non-electrical refrigerator. This stove is cool for the single person on the go type. "The History of the Refrigerator and Freezers."
posted by thomcatspike (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Cool potting...make being in the wilds easier without ice.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:00 PM on March 23, 2004


I saw that the other day, and love it--it's such a great idea. (and I read somewhere that amish folks did the same thing)
posted by amberglow at 4:20 PM on March 23, 2004


That's the way a real wineskin works too. The leather lets a bit of the liquid seep through which then evaporates keeping the contents cooler.
posted by substrate at 4:35 PM on March 23, 2004


Further googling will reveal this brilliant piece of low tech has also revived demand for the skills of traditional potters, thus providing employment. In the longer term, I imagine that people's diets are improved if they can eat a wider variety of foods thanks to preservation. This thing is the most wonderful example of a win for everyone.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:35 PM on March 23, 2004


Sweet post, thomcatspike.
posted by namespan at 4:57 PM on March 23, 2004


Note that this evaporative technology works best in dry environments.
posted by cardboard at 4:59 PM on March 23, 2004


Seriously, what the hell is up with the Cats reject as the spokes...something for a fucking oven? "Moisture... is the essence of wetness...."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:15 PM on March 23, 2004


Note that this evaporative technology works best in dry environments.

So this isn't going to help Louisiana?
posted by weston at 5:50 PM on March 23, 2004


Sure, everyone celebrates now.

But just wait until the 22nd century 'wet-sand' wars get underway. We'll see who's laughing then.

joking of course. damned cool; a great example of why science should be locally adapted instead of depending on the knowledge-base of a resource-rich set of first-world nations.
posted by kaibutsu at 6:35 PM on March 23, 2004


Just to be pedantic, I'll point out that there are lots of actual fridges that don't run on electricity. They run on propane, usually. Off-the-grid types use them sometimes, and some RV fridges are dual-source.

not to take anything away from this. I love low-tech "This is CLEVER!" tech. Stuff that's really far out on the "You mean it took umpty-thousand years for people to think of this?!?!" scale.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:42 PM on March 23, 2004


Hmmm, I wonder how this technique could be used in the western world to reduce electricity usage. Could we have deep-freezer sized boxes double-layered, insulated with wet sand and then have a wet cloth on top? How cool would it keep the food? Perhaps they could put a 'drip' on the sand to keep it moist when you're not home. Just thinking out loud, but anyone who might know more about the science - feel free to comment. Thanks!
posted by PigAlien at 7:47 PM on March 23, 2004


Engineers Without Borders came up in the comments of a post similar to this. It's a really interesting organization and there's lots of info. on their site. Their Appropriate Technology of the Month page has nifty things like the Filtron water filter system. Also Village Earth has their whole Appropriate Technology library available on cd-rom for $395 or you can get it by topic for less.
posted by lobakgo at 8:31 PM on March 23, 2004


Hmmm, I wonder how this technique could be used in the western world to reduce electricity usage.

It's not a free ride. You're dumping warmed humidity into the air. If there's air conditioning, the a/c will just have to expend more energy to extract that humidity back out. Or, in other words, if there's an HVAC system, it would be acting as the cooling cycle of the fridge. If there's no a/c, then it'll work with lower and lower efficiency as the air becomes humid. And...

How cool would it keep the food?

One assumes not very, just cooler than, well, Africa-hot. In the pictures, it looks like people were using it for fruits and onions and such. Not the really perishable stuff that western people would put in the fridge, like milk and meats.

I'd guess that in most of the western world, we accomplish most of what this is doing by putting stuff in the pantry.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:48 PM on March 23, 2004


My wife, from mthe Thai/ Burmese border, remembers clearly that everyone used to use a similar system until about 10 years ago when electrification made it up to her village.
posted by Pericles at 12:24 AM on March 24, 2004


We've used a wooden box draped with a wet towel when camping for years now...got it, I think, from an old Boy Scout manual. Works fine in central Illinois; it's not cold enough for meat or beer, but it sure cuts down on our ice haulage for produce, and dairy lasts the weekend at least, even in August.
posted by cookie-k at 3:40 AM on March 24, 2004




Or, in other words, if there's an HVAC system, it would be acting as the cooling cycle of the fridge. If there's no a/c, then it'll work with lower and lower efficiency as the air becomes humid.

Part of the "technology" is putting the pot-in-pot in a shaded, well ventilated space to address this very issue.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:18 AM on March 24, 2004


I remember my Dad telling me about a building he saw in Las Cruces, NM. It was cooled largely passively by means of some sort of rope wick, which drew water up through a chimney, and evaporated it, combined with a fan to create a draught. It sounded cool (no pun intended).
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 3:44 PM on March 24, 2004


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